FAQ

  • FAQ
  • Why should I update?
    To keep the full database of waterway data, operating hours and chart details up to date, we strongly recommend to update your software on a yearly basis. And what’s more: PC-Navigo adds and improves many functions in the software with each new version. Updating also extends your access to free help desk services, for two years after the date of purchase. The purchase of an update provides you the access to “bug-repair” patches and to possible data updates throughout the year. To order an update, please use the web shop.
  • How can I install PC-Navigo?
    To find out how to install PC-Navigo you may read the installation manual in the original package. You can also consult this manual on our website.
  • Is PC-Navigo compatible with other nautical programs?
    Not with all of those. PC-Navigo uses its own data format and calculation algorithms. The exchange of these data with other programs requires a standard and compatibility of the data. Most nautical programs work with a less sophisticated data model and with raster chart data. PC-Navigo uses all agreed standards for River Information Services in Europe, including the vector chart based Inland ECDIS standard for the nautical charts. PC-Navigo can also exchange Notices to Skippers and other River Information Services with the authorities. Many software programs for navigation used in commercial shipping use these standards too. In some of these programs a PC-Navigo voyage planning module has been incorporated, while others (Tempomate Fuel Saver, Radar Pilot 720 Integrated Navigation Chart and Radar, BICS and IVS90) exchange data in agreed protocols. The introduction of River Information Services will enhance these possibilities in the coming years. Often the hardware will cause problems, though: in most computers a GPS signal - for example - can only be used by one application at the time. To split this signal, extra software such as a "virtuaplex splitter" is needed to share one signal.
  • Is PC-Navigo suitable to replace other navigation software?
    Yes! Since the publication of the ENC chart viewer in PC-Navigo it is: PC-Navigo was originally developed as a voyage planner, designed to calculate the shortest or fastest connection between two or more points along the waterways. It presents the distance that is to be covered and the time it will take to travel this distance. All details along the route can be represented by PC-Navigo. To allow the use of REAL nautical charts, the ENC viewer in PC-Navigo has been developed: the same voyage planner, but equipped with a built in chart viewer that reads Inland ECDIS nautical charts (ENC's), the highest standard of vector based navigation charts in the world. The ENC-module used to be an extension to the "ordinary" PC-Navigo but it is now available in all PC-Navigo versions. If the zoom factor exceeds a certain value, the chart image is automatically replaced by the detailed ENC. See also the page with an explanation of the difference between VP and ENC. As a voyage planner, PC-Navigo may best be compared with a car navigation system like TomTom: a route from origin to destination is calculated, and while underway, the computer keeps checking whether or not one should amend the route. The practice is of course much more complicated on the water than on the road: the dimensions of the boat play an important role, and so do locks and bridges that need to be operated. All these matters are taken into account by PC-Navigo, even current velocities, lock cycle times and other possible delays. As a chart viewer, PC-Navigo shows you the detailed charts of the stretch of river or canal you're in, allowing you to "see your boat move through the Electronic Navigation Chart by means of your GPS position.
  • What do I do when my payment has failed?
    If you placed an order and you suspect that something went wrong with your payment, please get in touch with our helpdesk; we can check your order and the payment status online, to make sure all has gone well and that your order can be dealt with correctly.

  • Voyage Planning and Navigation
  • What is the difference between a voyage planner and a navigation chart?
    In short: a voyage planner presents relatively rude data, but over a very long distance; a nautical chart program provides data of a very limited area, but in extremely large detail. For more on this difference, click here.
  • Where do I find the manual for PC-Navigo?
    The complete manual of PC-Navigo is available on our website. If you wish you may print parts of this manual.
  • How frequently are the PC-Navigo data updated?
    The data files of NoorderSoft are revised at least once every year and made available to users in a version and data update. The files are kept up to date by NoorderSoft on a DAILY basis, amongst others by meticulous checks of all notices and messages distributed by the various waterway authorities all over Europe.
  • How do stoppages get into the computer?
    The so called dynamic data (obstructions, stoppages, urgent notices) are assembled daily. To make them available to PC-Navigo users, a (free) connection to our servers sends these data in encoded form to the local program: a simple click on <Options> and <Download obstructions> updates the computer so that it can take all stoppages into account.
  • How can PC-Navigo calculate different time schedules for commercial barges and leisure boats?
    The operating schedules in PC-Navigo contain both the hours for commercial craft and for leisure boaters. If a user identifies a boat as leisure boat, these schedules are checked for only those hours during which leisure boats are let through. Thus a calculation of possible delays can be made for every lock and bridge on the route.
  • Charts
  • I have a PC-Navigo ENC version, but I do not see any detailed charts. How can I get access to the details?
    As descibed in the manual the ENC charts do not appear immediately. Only when one has zoomed in pretty far, the chart "switches" to the ENC. This must prevent the overload of your computer when many ENC files have to be read all at once (one cell may be as large as 5 Mb. If you zoom in into an area where ENC coverage is available (for example the Scheldt estuary) you will see grey squares appearing in the overview chart. These squares indicate the ENC coverage. Zooming in even more leads to the switching of your screen to the ENC detailed chart, in which you can see depth areas, buoys, beacons and traffic signs, amongst other things. But even as the ENC has become visible, not all of its details are: the charts are scale dependant: the further you zoom in, the more details come in sight. If you want to switch this scale dependancy off, you may do so in the ENC-SETTINGS menu. If no chart is visible even after zooming in very far, this can have several causes: The ENC-viewer has been switched off (accidentally or on purpose); if you click on CTRL-E it will be switched on again; The ENC-cells that you'd like to see have not been imported yet or they have been erased: if you click in the menu ENC on IMPORT S-57 FILES, you'll get a list with imported files, with the coordinates of their rectangle behind the file name. Although this list is difficult to read, it must contain some data: the free-of-charge cells are pre-installed at production. If the list is empty, you may choose to import ENC-cells yourself (see the manual; If all of the above seems correct but you still can't see any detailed charts, then please get in touch with our help desk.


  • Problems with PC-Navigo
  • Does PC-Navigo take things like current, lock delays and dense traffic into consideration?
    Yes it does. The progress of a boat is calculated based on : cruising speed, possible speed limits in parts of the route, effects of current direction and current velocity, lock cycle times, average delays at locks, operating schedules of locks and bridges (if they need to be opened: if a boat can pass under a closed bridge, operation is NOT considered). Traffic density and the effects of extreme flows in rivers (both above and below average) can be set by the user.
  • Where do the data in PC-Navigo come from?
    There are 40 different waterway authority bodies in Europe, providing us with data. These are usually enhanced and completed by means of our own reconnaissance, of data from books, guides, atlasses and pictures, areal photography, and observations of the many thousands of users that navigate with our software. Since a few years the Electronic Nautical Charts have been added to our sources. In those areas where these ENC's are available for free, their data content is copied into PC-Navigo in total. Every area of which NO data are available, is filled in by means of areal photography and satellite pictures, from which a minimal data set is derived; local investigation of dimensions and other relevant basic data completes this way of data collection. The Electronic Nautical Chart files that have been incorporated in PC-Navigo ENC since 2007 are made available by the waterway authorities because of a directive which is published by the European Union, obliging the member states to provide these files for all waterways of Class IV or higher. In the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Czechia, Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Rumania these ENC files are available free of charges. No ENC exist so far in the UK.
  • I have an AIS-transponder plugged into PC-Navigo, but it is not working. What may be wrong?
    Please shut down PC-Navigo and start device manager in windows. See if there is a an icon with an exclamation mark under "other devices", with a text like "USB serial controller". In this case you may have to (re-) install the AIS drivers. In most cases these are available through the website of the manufacturer of the AIS, usually these are available on the "support" page. If PC-Navigo is unable to automatically detect the AIS device you can try looking under file-> preferences. Under "AIS-settings" you can check the box for "automatically detect AIS". If the AIS is found you will be prompted with the question whether you wish to automatically start the AIS whenever the program starts. If this does not work you can always contact us through our helpdesk.
  • The dongle (copy protection key) flashes and PC-Navigo doesn't work. What is wrong?
    If the dongle and its drivers are installed properly, the "led" (the little green light) in the tip of the dongle must be on. If the dongle light flashes, it means the drivers are not correctly installed. PC-Navigo will not start up. You can perform this correction directly by downloading the necessary driver from our web site with the link http://downloads.noordersoft.com/instdrv.exe (or in case of a 64 bits operating system: http://downloads.noordersoft.com/instdrv64.exe). Execute the downloaded file or save it somewhere and doubleclick on the file name. If the problem remains after you have executed this action, you may want to contact our help desk.
  • I have a GPS receiver plugged into PC-Navigo, but it doesn't seem to get a position. What may be wrong?
    To allow the GPS to communicate with PC-Navigo the GPS signals must be fed into the program according to a certain protocol. To make things work correctly, the GPS must first of all be CONNECTED to one of the usb ports of the computer; second, the GPS must be WORKING and BROADCASTING (which will often take a few minutes after the GPS was switched on) and it must be able to RECEIVE SATELLITE SIGNALS (which may NOT be the case if it's used indoors!). Check these three things first. The GPS signal must be tuned and matched with the receiving computer: the signal must be received via the right com port and in the right baud rate. And the stop bits, data bits and parity must be matched. By using the AUTOMATIC CONNECTION TO GPS function in PC-Navigo, the tuning process is correctly carried out and registered. As soon as the connection is established, you can see "raw data" pass through the GPS data field. If this doesn't happen; you may need to check if your GPS broadcasts the correct NMEA rule: this must be set at "RMC" (see the manual of your GPS receiver).
  • My version seems to contain one or more of the bugs described on the help desk page. What can I do?
    If your version contains bugs and errors that have been reported to us already, you can check if your "version build" is older than the version build of the last patch (repair program). You find the version build in the menu "Help", submenu "Info": at the bottom of the text box you see the version and build number (e.g. 2013.0.0.1 or 2012.0.0.17 etcetera). If this number is older than the build number of the last patch version on the help desk page, you can download the right patch and repair your software yourself. How to download and install this patch is explained on the helpdesk-page. You will also find a list of the bugs and errors that were reported and fixed since the first publication of version 2013. Some of these you can even fix without the patch.